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Progressing to Rotax (and racing!) - Advice

 
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harrycobbold



Joined: 08 Apr 2012
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:06 am    Post subject: Progressing to Rotax (and racing!) - Advice Reply with quote

I'm new to the forum, so hello, I'm hoping for a little advice...

I've been doing test days in an old 2004 TKM to get into the sport cheaply and see what it's all about. I've really enjoyed what I've done so far, and am looking to progress into racing now but am trying to find the best way to do it.

At the moment I have very little experience in the mechanics and the set ups required to be competitive in kart racing, having only really just started, but am eager to be semi-competitive in a club championship eventually. I live in the South West, so TKM isn't particularly popular, and by the looks of what I've seen at Clay Pigeon and Dunkeswell, Rotax is the most popular formula in my area.

So my question would be, what am I best to do: Buy a competitive new chassis and engine, and get as much time as possible at the track this year, doing plenty of tests with a view to racing next year or go to a team, and do less testing and racing (due to budget issues) but presumably be more competitive?

...or of course neither and something completely different? Any advice would be really appreciated. On how to get into racing and also what chassis' you'd all recommend?

Thanks for your help!
Harry.
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Alan Dove



Joined: 26 Sep 2006
Posts: 4487

PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Harry!! Welcome to karting!

Right, on the chassis front. I wouldn't buy a new kart. reason being that by the time you are good enough to actually feel the benefit of a new chassis the chassis you bought new, well, isn't new any more. Also, as a novice you'll get a few knocks here and there, and when you've spent 2k on a new chassis you might be not be best pleased.

As you are quite serious I'd recommend buying an ex-team chassis or something half decent on eBay. Rushy on this forum runs a team down at Dunks and Clay. he'll be able to help ya some more.
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harrycobbold



Joined: 08 Apr 2012
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alan Dove wrote:
Hi Harry!! Welcome to karting!

Right, on the chassis front. I wouldn't buy a new kart. reason being that by the time you are good enough to actually feel the benefit of a new chassis the chassis you bought new, well, isn't new any more. Also, as a novice you'll get a few knocks here and there, and when you've spent 2k on a new chassis you might be not be best pleased.

As you are quite serious I'd recommend buying an ex-team chassis or something half decent on eBay. Rushy on this forum runs a team down at Dunks and Clay. he'll be able to help ya some more.


Thanks for the help Alan, I can see what you'd mean a new chassis', sounds like second hand is gong to be the way forward. What do you think as to lots of time in the seat v racing/testing with a team? How would my money be best spent?
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Kevin W



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why not pop to clay today? There is a club race meeting going on. If you ask for mike Wellington, the club chairman, he will give you an impartial view on how to start racing.

Good luck!
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Christian



Joined: 08 Jan 2008
Posts: 372

PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would reccommend doing at least one race with a team and mechanic to learn the things you don't know. Make sure you get your moneys worth and ask millions of questions Smile

That'll be the quickest way of learning the mechanic stuff. Trial and error, and learning from forums is the other way, but it's a lot slower and you're bound to make more mistakes along the way.

I've only just started using teams myself, and when I get to the point that I know as much as they do, I don't see much point using them any more!
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harrycobbold



Joined: 08 Apr 2012
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all your help guys... It's invaluable!

I couldn't get down to Clay today, but hope to be at the next meeting.

I've been scouring eBay and the internet for some second hand, decent chassis and wondered if I could get an opinion on some of them.

Firstly, one of the ex-works models from intrepid.. Seems quite cheap for what it is.

http://www.intrepidkarts.net/intrepid-cruiser-v-kart-18-races-old.html

And secondly this looks like a pretty nice bundle, especially with the data logger etc. But I can see the price going quite a bit higher before the end so probably a no go but could be worth it if it's a complete ready to go package..

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CRG-dark-Knight-2011-with-2011-125-rotax-engine/130676603599?ssPageName=WDVW&rd=1&ih=003&category=122308&cmd=ViewItem#ht_836wt_1393

Thanks!
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Jinder



Joined: 04 May 2011
Posts: 695
Location: Symondsbury, Dorset

PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would definitely follow Kevin's advice and get along to Clay for a watch and a chat with Mike. He's a nice guy and knows all there is to know about what happens at Clay, as you'd expect.

I wouldn't be in a huge hurry to go Rotax, the TKM grids at Clay are growing all the time, and if budget is anything of a consideration, you'll get a lot more racing for your readies in TKM.

An option would be to pick up a decent, recent rolling chassis and bolt your BT82 it, get your ARKS test sorted and spend the rest of the year finding your feet with some club racing, getting some signatures on your license and working on your racecraft. Racecraft is an entirely different science to raw pace, and something that can only really be learned by experience.

Then, at the end of the year, you can evaluate your performance and how much you're enjoying TKM, and if you're still intent on going Rotax, make the change then, ready for a full season of racing next year.

I considered switching to Rotax earlier this year, as I'm very tall and would be better suited to 177 (the Rotax heayweight class), but the running cost differential between classes convinced me to stick with TKM and keep going to the gym!
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nick55



Joined: 04 Nov 2009
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TKM not popular at Clay??...seniors had 14 today!...good clean friendly racing..everybody ready to help and give advice...don't be too quick to rule it out!...seems like the grid is set to get bigger.
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nick55



Joined: 04 Nov 2009
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TKM not popular at Clay??...seniors had 14 today!...good clean friendly racing..everybody ready to help and give advice...don't be too quick to rule it out!...seems like the grid is set to get bigger.
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Sam19



Joined: 08 Jul 2011
Posts: 583
Location: Launceston, Cornwall

PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

like nick said we had 14 at clay this weekend, was really good we have 4 novices including me and was very close racing, and was an enjoyment to be racing.

but next race meeting which i believe is the 8/9th of june, i would recommend coming down and just walk round and have a chat with mike and the TKM and Rotax boys, senior Rotax only had 6 at clay this weekend and like i said TKM had 14 so don't rule TKM out, everyone thinks its a dying breed of the sport but the way the economy is going i think more people are going to be looking at TKM.

another thing to think about is your budget, just walk round and ask people what they estimate there budget is, as this is my first year ours has been huge because we have had to buy a van and tools and a new kart and stuff like that, but it doesn't have to be, there was a novice there this weekend on a 98 chassis and still had the time of his life Smile

hope this helps
would be good to see you in june

sam
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